North Korea is intent on entering a state of war with South Korea in the latest escalation of rhetoric against its neighbor and the US. Terrible things are happening in the world and I can't do a thing to stop them.
Right now, my immediate surroundings affect me more than a far-off threat. I understand that whatever goes on in the world might escalate to include me at some time in the future, but I'm more concerned about keeping warm and mobile.
The power went off at six this morning—right when I get up. A loud peep came from a building next door every five minutes, so I knew the power had failed to our area. No cup of tea first thing because today, I needed to take my weekly dose of alendronic acid—meant to prevent the effects of osteoporosis. Stiff and cold, I sat under a blanket to meditate in the unusual silence of the living room. No reassuring hum from the fridge or the gas central heating.
Time to move. I tossed aside the thought of crawling back into bed with my warm husband and decided instead to sweep the floors and cut up a pineapple—things I'd put off for too long. The action would keep me warm. However, the drop in temperature had already made me stiff. What should have been a pleasant routine, gave me pain and further discomfort. After I'd eaten some fruit to break my fast, I grabbed my notebook and flicked over pages of notes, refreshing my memory about things I'd decided to work on in my writing. Time arrived at last to eat cereal and make a cup of tea. Without electricity, I filled a saucepan and lit a ring on the gas hob.
My neighbor knocked at 9am to check if I'd lost power too. I assured her that was the case and set a pan of water on the stove for her. I considered how to carry boiling water through the door left-handed, with my walking stick in the other. I could either use the trolley on wheels or ask her to collect it.
Just then, the power returned with buzzes and clicks. The service had been restored. The phone peeped continually for a minute. I had no idea how to stop the annoying noise, so that was a relief. I turned the heater on and then the computer. Bliss! Back to my routine.
However, Korea and the world are still in danger. Unable to avert the situation, the way I couldn't restore the power service, I wish someone could turn human aggression and avarice off with a flick of a switch.